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Work Experience Education

Gain Work Experience While You Earn College Credit

College of the Desert's Work Experience Education Program is a unique academic program where students apply what they have learned in the classroom to a real work environment - all while earning college credit.

By enrolling in a Work Experience course, students will participate in experiential learning activities that will enhance their skill set and strengthen effective work habits. Additionally, students enrolled in a Work Experience course hav the opportunity to be coached and mentored by a faculty member as a subject matter expert in the student's field of study.

How It Works

Students may enroll in a General or an Occupational Work Experience course via WebAdvisor or Self Service based on their educational goal and current job-related duties:

General Work Experience

(WEG, XXX-095A) is for students who currently have a job placement that does not directly align with their educational/occupational goal. This course is designed to help students develop individual career and workplace awareness.

Occupational Work Experience

(i.e. AUTO-095A, AGEH-095A, CDE-095A, etc.) is for students who currently have a job placement that directly aligns with his/her educational occupational goal. 

Hour Requirements

Work Experience courses allow students to earn up to a maximum of 8 units per semester, based on the hours the student will be working or interning during the semester. Please reference the Work Experience Guide for enrollment details.

    • Paid positions require a minimum of 75 hours per credit enrolled. 
    • Unpaid positions require a minimum of 60 hours per credit enrolled.

Benefits for Students

Students who participate in the Work Experience Program:

  • Receive CSU transferable college credit
  • Get a glimpse into their chosen career field and receive career guidance from a faculty advisor
  • Practice setting goals that are meaningful to their career readiness
  • Learn how to use performance evaluations for continued growth and improvement
  • Enhance their resume
  • Gain a better understanding of human relations in the workplace
  • Network with professionals and future employers
  • Apply 21st-century employability skills

What to Expect Out of a Work Experience Class

  • Work Experience classes are non-traditional - the majority of the work is completed at the studen't job site!
  • Students meet a total of four (4) times during the course; two on campus with their Work Experience Instructor, and two at the student’s job site with their Work Experience Instructor and supervisor.
  • During the course, students will develop and work on three (3) S.M.A.R.T. goals/objectives in addition to current job expectations and requirements.
  • Students will have the opportunity to apply and enhance the following  21st-century Employability Skills:
    1. Adaptability
    2. Self-Awareness
    3. Digital Fluency
    4. Communication
    5. Collaboration
    6. Empathy
    7. Analysis/Solution Mindset
    8. Resilience
    9. Entrepreneurial Mindset
    10. Social/Diversity Awareness
  • Students will participate in a Final Job Site Evaluation where they will receive contructive feedback from their supervisor related to the completion of the three SMART goals and their application of the 10 Employability Skills listed above. 
  • All course content is available via Canvas 24/7. Students are expected to log-in on the first day of class.